Stories about attacks

PTI’s Peace March: Give credit where it is due

Waziristan, a centre point for drone attacks by US-led NATO forces, is a place from where thousands of residents were misplaced internally and had to lodge their families to safer places of Pakistan. Waziristan, a place that is forgotten even by its own rulers. Recently, Imran Khan, Chairman Tehreek e Insaaf, led a ‘Peace March’ to South Waziristan along with the citizens of Pakistan, local media, his own party workers, and above all, foreign journalists and anti-war activists from the West.  This march started from Islamabad on Saturday October 6, 2012. The motorcade drove across Talagang, Chakwal, Kundian, Mianwali, Karak, Dera Ismail ...

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‘Firaaq’: When the suppressed resort to terrorism

Since the year 2004, Pakistan has seen its North-West tribal agencies recurrently get bombed by American drones. After a total of around 300 drone strikes, about 3000 people have lost their lives. Though the United States proudly claims these attacks to be instrumental in eradicating the terrorist activities in the region, drone strikes still invite the debate as to whether they actually serve this purpose and this purpose only. More so, a wide majority of Pakistanis─ the tribal population included─ question the casual use of Pakistani air-space by the American military. Though people complain that these attacks ridicule the sovereignty of Pakistan, there ...

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Who is the real enemy in Afghanistan?

In 11 years of warfare, Kabul has never seen a Taliban offensive such as this; government buildings, foreign embassies, NATO offices and bases were continuously attacked for two days by coordinated rocket and gun attacks around the country. Deeming the violence as a ‘spring offensive’, it is disheartening to see that 11 years of war and devastation have not had the result some may have hoped for, and also raises questions as to who the ‘real enemy’ is, and whether the ‘enemy’ can be pinpointed to being one group or individual. It also raises the question as to how many different perspectives ...

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Pak-US ties and those who matter most

At a joint sitting of the parliament the debate is on. The representatives of the people of Pakistan are discussing the new set of terms of engagement with the United States in the aftermath of the November airstrike on Pakistan’s Salala check post. A joint parliamentary committee on national security dished out some 40 recommendations which ostensibly would lay the basis on which the future Pak-US relations would stand. One runs through the proposals and after a lot of sifting through three visible contours emerge. 1) The US must submit an unconditional apology for the strikes; 2) the drone attacks must end ...

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Terror won’t end with Uncle Sam’s exit

Facing a resurgent wave of violence after the Abbottabad operation, our government, that is the military, is facing internal pressure to defy the United States’ (US) demands and reclaim our sovereignty. At the same time, it is being pulled in the opposite direction by our chief benefactor, the US. The line of argument, simple, yet repeated so often to have become a sacred mantra, is to demand that the US withdraw from Afghanistan, and Pakistan should seize to support her. By doing so, the Taliban would no longer have any justification to continue fighting. It’s neat and simple, yet its ...

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PNS Mehran attack: Countering terrorism and conspiracies

In 2002, after the attacks on the French naval engineer’s bus, the suicide bombing on the US Consulate, and the beheading of Daniel Pearl, Karachi unfortunately received the title of ‘the Terrorism Capital of Pakistan.’ Eventually, the terror campaign moved upcountry and Karachi fell out of the limelight. Nevertheless, it remained an economic hub for terrorists who took advantage of the city’s multicultural demographics and economy for financial gains and networking. It also became a port of arrival and departure to and from the country for local and foreign militants. Karachi, therefore, remained vulnerable to terrorist violence, as was ...

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Drone attacks: Unlawful killings, double standards

A recent report indicated that the US was considering expanding drone operations in Pakistan to now encompass areas surrounding Quetta. Pakistan vociferously rejected the expansion and said the US would not be allowed to expand the areas where drones operate. Drone attacks have a history stretching back to 2004, when they started as part of George Bush’s war on terror. An independent tally by New America Foundation, shows that there have been 199 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan with approximately 103 in 2010 alone. The records state that till today between 1,276 and 1,955 individuals were killed, of whom around ...

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‘In suicide attacks we trust’

Within hours of every terror attack that strikes the heart of a Pakistani city, you hear the holy warriors of TTP claiming responsibility for their “remarkable valour.” It is unclear why the law enforcement agencies have not yet tackled these murderers head on. These cowardly acts are marketed as a fitting response to the US drone strikes. In other words, these are God-fearing mujahideen waging a war against the ‘infidels’. The term ‘infidel’ has lost its real meaning. Any and everybody can be declared an infidel at a moment’s notice by these fighters. After that conclusive declaration, no further justification for ...

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Terrorised again: Welcome to my world

It’s been a while since I wrote about my country’s current state of affairs or the multiple attacks that continue to make me believe I’m a soldier living in a war-zone. On any given panic-holiday, I meet my friends for brunch and talk about how good it feels to finally have a day off – you will never find us complaining about some extra hours of sleep. You see, we Karachiites are completely desensitized to disgustingly worrying levels of poverty, bomb threats and suicide attacks. Living in Karachi, you grow up and you learn to toughen up and just deal with things. We ...

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Are drone attacks really worth it?

On September 20, 2001, while addressing a joint session of the US Congress, then US president George W. Bush said: “Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” These words really changed our world, as our rulers sided with them instead of our own people. An inroad into our airspace In less than a month on October 7 2001, the US military started its operation Enduring Freedom to eliminate safe havens of al-Qaeda and in search of Osama Bin Laden. Cities and towns all over Afghanistan were pounded through ...

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